Seeing Things, Saying Things

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Paying Homage to a Long Ago Akron Brewery

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I was vaguely aware that this abandoned building on North Forge Street in Akron, Ohio, used to be a brewery. As it turned out, the former Renner Brewing Company has a colorful history.

On his website Ohio, Robert A. Musson, author of Brewing Beer in the Buckeye State, recounts that beer brewing began at this site as far back as 1848.

The brewery established here underwent a series of owners due to most of them encountering financial problems. Fire destroyed the brewery once and heavily damaged it on another occasion.

This building, which dates to the 1880s, was sold to George Jacob Renner in 1888 and would remain in operation under the Renner name until the company brewed its last batch of beer on Dec. 8, 1952.

It survived Prohibition and the Great Depression, but could not outlast a post-World War II era of dominance by national and large regional companies with their marketing and distribution advantages.

Renner brewed and sold several brands, but its flagship brand was Grossvater, named after the German word for grandfather.

The company was also known for a non-alcoholic beer that it sold during Prohibition known as Zepp Brew. The name was in honor of the zeppelins built at the air dock at Akron Municipal Airport (now named Akron Fulton Airport).

The Renner Brewing complex was made up of seven buildings, some of which are still used for other industrial enterprises. But this building on the north side of Forge seems to have gone unused for several years.

For more history of Renner Brewing Company visit:


Written by csanders429

December 20, 2016 at 8:09 am

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